David G. Hartwell by Year's Best SF 3

David G. Hartwell by Year's Best SF 3

Author:Year's Best SF 3
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Published: 2011-08-15T19:28:38+00:00

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Chapter 14 - Always True to Thee, in My Fashion by Nacky Kress

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Nancy Kress is well known for her deeply complex medical SF stories, and for her biological and evolutionary extrapolations in such classics as "Beggars in Spain," Beggars and Choosers, and Beggars Ride. Her stories are rich in texture and in the details of the inner life of character, and like only a few others, such as Bruce Sterling and James Patrick Kelly, she manages often to satisfy both the readers of hard SF and the self-styled Humanists. She is in fact one of the few writers to incorporate much of the aesthetic of Modernist fiction into SF. This story, however, from Asimov's, is another side of Nancy Kress, the feminine juggernaut, uproarious and unstoppable--who would want to? The more you think about it, the funnier it gets, rather like vintage Connie Willis. This is first-rate satire, extending that tradition that flowered in the 1950s, that was perhaps the center of 50s SF, into the late 90s. My ideal SF convention would have both Connie Willis and Nancy Kress as co-guests of honor, always speaking at the same time and picking up on each other's lines.


Relationships for the autumn season were casual and unconstructed, following a summer where fashion had been unusually colorful and intense. Suzanne liked wearing the new feelings. They were light and cool, allowing her a lot of freedom of movement. The off-hand affection made her feel unencumbered, graceful.

Cade wasn't so sure.

"It sounds bloody boring," he said to Suzanne, holding the pills in his hand. "Love isn't supposed to be so boring. At least the summer fashions offered a few surprises."

Boxes from the couture houses spilled around their bedroom. Suzanne, of course, had done the ordering. Karl Lagerfeld, Galliano, Enkia for Christian LaCroix, and of course Suzanne's own special designer and friend, Sendil. Cade stood in the middle of an explosion of slouchy tweeds and off-white linen, wearing his underwear and his stubborn look.

"But the summer feelings were so heavy," Suzanne said. She dropped a casual kiss on the top of Cade's head. "Come on, Cadie, at least give it a try. You have the body for casual emotions, you know. They look so good on you."

This was true. Cade was lean and loose-jointed, with a small head on a long neck: a body made for easy carelessness. Backlit by their wide bedroom windows, he already looked coolly nonchalant: an Edwardian aristocrat, perhaps, or one of those marvelously blase American riverboat gamblers who couldn't be bothered to sweat. The environment helped, of course. Suzanne always did their V-R, and for autumn she'd programmed unlined curtains, cool terra cotta tiles, oyster-white walls. All very informal and composed, nothing trying very hard. But she'd left the windows natural. That, too, was perfect: too nonchalant about the view of London to bother reprogramming its ugliness. Only Suzanne would have thought of this touch. Their friends would be so jealous.

"Come on, Cade, try the feelings on.


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